NFC South Week 1 Recap
By: Kenneth Harrison
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The NFL season kicked off yesterday. I’m going to take a look around the NFC South and see what we can take away from these performances.
Atlanta- 24 Carolina- 10: As a Falcons fan I’ve always been grateful to the Panthers. No matter how bad the Falcons are you can always count on one win against the guys from Charlotte.
I expected it to be a rough day for Bryce Young since he’s a rookie quarterback on a bad team making his debut. The first pick in the draft went 20-38 passing for 146 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. I expect him to get better as the season goes on.
I was curious how the Falcons backfield would look since they drafted Bijan Robinson with the 8th pick in the 2023 draft. Tyler Allgeier rushed for over one thousand yards last season as a rookie. Allgeier rushed for 75 yards and two TD’s on 15 carries. Robinson had 10 carries for 56 yards and 6 receptions for 27 yards and a score.
“This was a super-fun first game for me,” Robinson said. “I just can’t wait to showcase what we’ve got going down the line.”
Desmond Ridder is not the franchise quarterback of the future. He was efficient passing the ball, completing 15 of 18 attempts. He only passed for 115 yards though. He does not throw the ball downfield so playmakers like Kyle Pitts or Drake London can excel. London had zero catches and only 1 target. Pitts caught 2 passes for 44 yards.
Tampa Bay- 20 Minnesota-17: This game surprised me and left me thinking the Buccaneers have a chance to win the division. It’s way too early to make that prediction but they were the most impressive NFC South team yesterday.
Tom Brady retired for good, allegedly, and they replaced him with Baker Mayfield. The former number one pick is a journeyman who is on his last opportunity to be a starter in the NFL. He passed for 174 yards and 2 TD’s. Those aren’t impressive numbers but it is a big deal that he did not throw a pick. Mike Evans caught 6 passes for 66 yards and a score.
“It just comes with playing quarterback for a long time,” said Mayfield, who hopped from the Browns to the Panthers to the Rams to before landing with the Bucs. “The most important play is the next one.”
The Vikings won the NFC North last season and made the playoffs so this is a good win. Kirk Cousins passed for 344 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. He also lost 2 fumbles so the defense did a good job causing turnovers.
New Orleans- 16 Tennessee- 15: Derek Carr made his debut with the Saints and he did a decent job. He threw for 305 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. He was sacked four times so he took a beating.
“I’m glad we won. That’s all I wanted to do,” said Carr. “That was one of the more physical games I’ve played in my 10 years. … We showed that we could win the ultimate physical type of game.”
Star running back Alvin Kamara is suspended the first three games of the season. Jamaal Williams had 18 carries for 45 yards, which is a paltry 2.5 yards per carry.
Second year receiver Chris Olave led the team with 8 catches and 112 yards.
New Orleans was the favorite to win the division before the season started. I think the Bucs will challenge them.